National Spine & Pain Centers
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Best and Worst Foods For Fibromyalgia
While there is no magic food to prevent fibromyalgia pain, doctors and scientists do recommend a few adjustments in your diet, which can make a huge difference in controlling the daunting symptoms.
One strong recommendation is to improve your overall health, which has a positive effect on fibromyalgia pain. Along with living a healthy lifestyle, there are some foods that should be on the table all the time and a few to be avoided.
Eat Fruits and Veggies. Eating lots of fruits and vegetables can improve the health of a fibromyalgia patient. Fruits and vegetables are low in calories and high in fiber and antioxidants. Vitamins A, C, and E are found in fresh fruits and veggies, and these also fight free radicals to keep your body normalized. Plus, they also lack added preservatives and artificial coloring that often aggravate fibromyalgia patients.
Eat Omega-3s. The “healthy fat” in cold-water fish and walnuts can have anti-inflammatory properties. According to Jeffrey Thompson, MD, an associate professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine “Omega 3's may not offer pain relief across the board, they're a worthy addition to any diet.” So seek out fish and nuts, adding these to your diet on a regular basis.
Avoid Simple Carbs, Whole Wheat and Whole Grains. Fibromyalgia patients often experience general hypersensitivity, which translates into increased sensitivity to blood-sugar highs and lows. Avoid simple carbs like white sugar, white flour, and even wheat if possible. Also, be cautious with whole grains, since they can quickly elevate blood-sugar levels.
Avoid Caffeine. Sleeplessness is a common side effect of fibromyalgia, so if you wake up exhausted after a terrible night's sleep, it is tempting to down the coffee. However, this may be a mistake. Using caffeine to compensate for a lack of sleep can contribute to circulatory problems, and the solution of the caffeine then causes more sleeplessness. Caffeine highs also set patients up for a crash that can disrupt their sleep schedule. Decaf green tea may be an antioxidant rich healthier alternative for some patients.
One Diet Does Not Fit All. Finding the best diet for your fibromyalgia pain can be a challenge. Medical professionals strongly feel that diet has an effect on patients, however finding the exact diet for each individual takes time, requires experimenting, and needs effective use of a food journal. Doctors encourage patients to record what they eat and how they feel afterwards documenting foods and combinations of foods that have positive or negative reactions on their health. This can be tremendously helpful in assisting fibromyalgia patients to understand their own bodies and create a diet that works well.